WINNING: Andalucia beach

SPAIN’S beaches are some of the best in the world. 

That’s according to the amount of Blue Flags posted on the country’s shoreline – 579 in total.

It’s been at the top of the list of countries with the most Blue Flag beaches for the past three decades – since the awards were conceived in 1987.

This year, the Environmental Education and the Consumer awarded Spain seven fewer flags, but this didn’t jeopardise its coveted top position in the rankings.

Valencia boasts the highest number of awards, with 129 altogether, and following closely behind it are Galicia, 113, Catalonia, 95 and Andalucia, 90.

Criteria for an award include displaying of water quality, managing cleanliness, educating visitors of environmental concerns and providing sanitary facilities.

Greece has taken second place this year out of 49 countries included, with 430 flags.



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  1. The beaches I usually find myself at west of Malaga should be awarded the brown flag! This is based on colour of the water and things floating in it which have come down the Guadalhorce. Most likely the blue flag is awarded if certain people get their palm’s crossed with silver lol.

    • Beaches and water, as Dan and Colin said, are separate entities. Fairly easy to keep a beach clean, much trickier to divert the crap before it pollutes your body.
      How’s the water at Nerja these days? The Blue Flag scheme probably meant well, but it has become a smoke-screen, giving bathers false confidence.

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